An unexpected bonus

Hello everyone

Hope that you are all well and happy, it has been a very busy few weeks here in lovely, mostly sunny, Yorkshire. Term has started and I have a new role at work, new students, new modules, new teams, in fact it is just like a completely new job except with the advantage that I know where the photocopier is and everyone’s names!

I have been on a roll with the house pincushions and have made 9 so far so will do a post later showing you all the lovely little dwellings – am mildly addicted as usual with anything new and keep dreaming up new fabric combinations, they are just so cute!

A couple of weeks ago Ellie and Kerry came up for a pre -planned fabric viewing outing, we had been meaning to go and explore some of the fab shops round here and look for inspiration for kit for next year.

We visited Fabworks in Dewsbury and the wonderful Bombay Stores in Bradford, the latter an absolute heaven of Asian wedding outfits and gorgeous fabric. There was great excitement as Kerry chose the fabric for her wedding dress, may not have mentioned it but her partner Dave proposed at Caldicot and we are all very thrilled that she said yes. They met at that event 3 years ago so it was very romantic  :-)

Anyway Kerry had suggested going to a Steampunk Fair at Leeds Industrial Museum so not only did we get to look at all the lovely stuff there but the museum celebrates the textile heritage of the area so there were brilliant displays of weaving looms, sewing machines and pattern cutting, just my cup of tea!





Love to think of those women working at their machines in the heyday of Leeds as a tailoring centre. Pattern cutting being very much a male preserve! Hope they enjoyed what they did as much as we enjoy sewing as a hobby.

Also another unexpected bonus, went to Liverpool last week with work, part of my new role is working across the North of England promoting maths teaching, and found time to visit the Elizabeth Hoare Collection of Ecclesiastical Textiles at Liverpool Cathedral. Have been planning a trip for about 12 years and this is a sneak peak of what wonders are there. Need some time to sort out the 120 plus photos that I took and will post more loveliness!


Rather gorgeous and I really was very excited, even though I only live an hour away had never been to Liverpool before and want to go back to visit all their  museums. Ellie and I have put it on our to do list for next year.

Am off to Spain again on Friday, Mum says the sea is still warm enough to swim in and the beach beds and umbrellas are still for hire so we will be spending at least one day mellowing with lots of good reading and a picnic.

Take care, see you when I get back and thanks for visiting.

Happiness is scrappiness!

Hope that you all had a lovely weekend, I really enjoyed myself being creative. Much as I love re-enactment I am glad in some ways that the season is over and I have lots more time at home in my lovely craft room🙂

I was just playing with my scrap drawer most of the time, I have been very inspired by all the lovely things on my Pinterest board and have lots of left over linen from all my years of making kit for the boys so made a couple of pincushions from linen and some of the left over charm packs. Very pleased that everything here came from my stash, mind you I do have quite a large stash!


This one is also a scissor holder, again inspiration from Pinterest.


This one was scraps from the various craft room accessory projects that I have made over the years like the sewing machine cover, needlebook and pincushion. Am quite tempted to keep this as it goes so well with the craft room though am supposed to be making these as gifts.



I used some of my vintage linen for this one, the motifs come from a lace collar that a friend gave me and the button was also from the collar.



I have wanted to make a little house pincushion for ages and found a great tutorial here at Retro Mama’s site  that explains how to make them. There are also some beautiful colour combinations here at Craft and Creativity’s website  to inspire you. Look at this loveliness in Tilda fabric and with some cute birds – picture from Helena’s site.


I have made two so far , using an offcut from the red charm pack square in the previous pincushion for a little window box. The pink and aqua one is definitely staying with me in my craft room !


I think these are just the cutest things ever and will be making a few more. Jake suggested putting a cat in the window and if I can work out how to cut a cat that small I will.

So many more lovely ideas on my board still left to do, must make a start on the Christmas ornaments soon though, it is nearly October and only have one made so far which is not like me!

Yarndale went very well, Sarah sold lots of books and I sold nearly all the baskets and some of the pincushions. She will be doing another book and stall next year and wants more things from me, especially needlebooks so that gives me plenty of opportunity to get making.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Pinspiration and perspiration

Hello, hope you are all looking forward to a nice weekend whatever you are doing. I am planning to make some pincushions, have got so many lovely ones saved on my Pinterest board that it is time for some doing rather than just looking.

I have got my friend Sharon’s dog Ted staying with me for the weekend while she and Sarah are at Yarndale  so Jake and I will be taking him for walks later on.

Jake is home with me for a few months until he hopefully goes to Japan next year. He is starting a Japanese course the week after next and in the meantime is working part-time doing bar work and dog walking so he is getting very good at canine control!

Have been working hard over the last couple of weeks getting the last of the baskets finished for Sarah to take to Yarndale so just thought I would show you the last few.


I got this fab vintage sheep motif from Ebay, sadly only had the two, really love the pattern on the sheep.


I also made another mini basket to put the needlebook and pincushion I made last year in, I also made a pink one of these a while ago.


Along with the other baskets I made earlier and the Liberty and linen pincushions I had quite a lot of things for the stall so am very pleased.


I do love the combination of Liberty fabric and linen and so will definitely make more things using that combination. These are the ones from last year that I made for Yarndale.



I also still have lots of lovely themed stitching and vintage print material to make more as gifts for crafting friends. I also definitely need a couple more for me for craft room storage, you can never have too many cute fabric baskets😉 and there is a gap on my shelf now these have gone to Yarndale.


Sarah is selling copies of her latest pattern book at Yarndale, not only does it feature some gorgeous patterns again, this time inspired by the Beaubaton Castle from Harry Potter but also Ellie modelled again for Sarah and her picture is on the front cover!


This would make a fab Christmas present for a knitting friend so do go and get some from her website here. It is great value and there are some beautiful designs as usual, the woman is a knitting genius.

I love the promo picture for Yarndale this year, look at the cuteness of this sheep!


I now have an I Pad, courtesy of work which has the Pinterest app on it and I am loving the fact that I can add things from the suggestions really easily. I came across this wonderful site the other day, Gentlework.

Christine makes the most amazing things from vintage textiles and I have been so inspired by the beautiful things on her site. Do go and have a look at them, they are really delicate and inspired by nature and just lovely.

Right off to make pincushions – see you later and thanks as always for visiting.



Stopping the crowds

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend. I am as it is sunny and we have blue skies here and I did my first day of teaching with one of my new groups yesterday. I have changed job roles this year and just moved office so am feeling very much like it is first days back at school! I have been busy making baskets for Sarah as well.

At our recent event in Lincoln during the Steam Punk Festival we once again went out to promote our show and in the evening for a photo shoot at the cathedral so I thought that I would share the pictures with you.Thanks to Kate and Wendy, our fab Swords of Mercia support crew, for these. I think we look brilliant!


We were once again very popular, especially the girls who spent ages being photographed. There are lots of photography groups who come and visit for the weekend and Ellie and Kerry, as well the knights spent ages posing for them and I even got asked as well!

I love these pictures of Ellie inside the cathedral.



There were also some brilliant ones of our knights, especially the ones of them kneeling in parts of the cathedral.



This is a superb shot of Jamie in his newest armour.


We also had some great ones taken back at the Bishop’s Palace, look at this lovely pair of medieval gentlemen.



Luke has new armour, what a surprise,  and here he is with Shane in his latest livery.


Here is Paul with Clive, Shane and Jamie outside the cathedral.


I really do think our group looks splendid, am very proud of everyone for all of the effort that they make with their kit. That was our last show as a group for this year, Ellie, Kerry and I will be at Caldicot Castle in South Wales for our last show of the season this coming weekend and then it is going to be a lovely Autumn of sitting stitching and thinking about Christmas crafting😉

I hope that you are all having a nice start to Autumn, it is one of my favourite times of the year, am looking forward to some blackberry picking soon and lots of cooking nice stews. Will be back next week with a final round up of baskets that I have made!

Thanks for visiting and take care.

A little more making and a fab(ric) find!

Hello again. Inbetween sorting out a Steampunk outfit and re-enacting I have been able to make a few things. Firstly a ring pillow for Ellie’s best friend Becky from University who got married this week.

The theme was linen and lace with dark blue so I used some of my vintage crochet stash and Jenny of Elefantz’s monogram patterns  as well as some flowers from an old pair of sandals that had worn out to fit in with the something old something new, something borrowed and something blue.

I am very pleased with how it turned out, I love the combination of linen and crochet and lace and have been saving lots of other inspiration pictures to my Pinterest boards.

I have also been saving all my tiny Liberty scraps from making hexagons and inspired by Pinterest and Crazy Mom’s month of pincushions  made these for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Was very pleased as well to find a fabric stall at the Steampunk market selling another version of one of my favourite haberdashery fabrics. The lady was called Jill from English Rose and she was very lovely. You can find her Etsy store  here.

Steam Punk fabri purchases

I have got this print in grey and black and cream and black and have used it for the cute baskets  and now have a whole metre in blue and cream as it was such a bargain🙂 I also bought another print that I had seen on Ebay from the stall, love that sewing machine.

Steam Punk fabri purchases 2

I am aiming to make a few more fabric baskets  this weekend as Yarndale is only a few weeks away so better get crafting! Have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

Creative costuming

Hello everyone, hope that those of you in the UK enjoyed the Bank Holiday, usual mix of sunshine and rain meant that while we got soaked putting up the tents for the show at Lincoln on Saturday we were roasting by Monday and the tents were dry – hurrah!

This was our last event of the season with Swords of Mercia and not only did we have an excellent time with the group we went early on the Saturday to join in the Steampunk Festival which was amazing as always.

The sheer creativity and inventiveness of the costumes is stunning and we had a great afternoon. We  made some costumes for ourselves, not too elaborate this year due to lack of time but we were pleased to feel part of the event.

Here is Ellie in her lovely outfit, mostly put together from bargain charity shop finds and jewellery and embellishments she already had plus a bustle from Ebay, she looks very glamorous.

Steam Punk 2016 Ellie 1


Steam Punk 2016 Ellie 2


Steam Punk 2016 Ellie 3

I embellished the top hat Jake wore to his prom and Ellie bought me a lovely lace jacket from a charity shop for a pound as well. I also picked up the brooch I am wearing and this beautiful hair barrette at the market, very appropriate for a stitcher!

Steam Punk 2016 Ellie and me


Steam Punk 2016 Me new barette

There were the usual out of this world amazing costumes such as this peacock dress and this Gothic church inspired one, complete with matching waistcoat for the attendant who was the garment’s designer.

Steam Punk 2016 Peacock dress 1

Steam Punk 2016 Gothic dress 1

My favourite one was this Knitting Ninja, I love the creativity of this outfit with the, ‘ammo belt’, of wool and needles at the ready.

Steam Punk 2016 Knitting Ninja


Steam Punk 2016 Knitting Ninja 2

I also loved this butterfly dress with all the hand stitched butterflies, it is so brilliant to see people being creative and enjoying sewing and making.

Steam Punk 2016 Butterfly dress 1


Steam Punk 2016 Butterfly dress 2


Steam Punk 2016 Butterfly dress 3

We got lots of ideas for future costumes as well and as last year we were photographed so many times when we went out promoting our event on the Sunday and Monday, pictures of that and other wonderful medieval costume in a later post.

Meanwhile enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for visiting.


A little buying and a little making….

Hello everyone, hope that you are all having a good weekend. It is raining again in lovely Marsden but as my sister and her cute dog are here for the weekend we have been out in it enjoying the beautiful countryside. The moors are amazing at the moment, all purple and it is great to be able to walk that far again after the mobility problems earlier in the year.

Not much has been going on craft wise, I have some progress on the Christmas ornaments and embroidery but nothing to show yet. However I can show you another cute little basket, this one made as a present for my cousin’s daughter. I made the smallest size of the Friends of the One Hour basket and filled it full of hair clips and she really loved it.

Anna-Mae's basket 1

As I mentioned in my previous posts I was very good at the Quilt Festival and only bought a little bit more stash🙂 Firstly these gorgeous little mini charm packs, I am going to be going on some more bag making courses in the autumn so thought they would be great for that.

Quilt Festival mini charm packs

Charise has also got a great zipper pouch tutorial  on her blog which make use of these so might try that, look how cute the finished result is.

Charise zipper pouch -small

I also had to have some more Liberty from Alice Caroline’s fab scrap bin. Thought they would look lovely with scrap linen and have recently come across this lovely hexi idea from Pinterest from Lola Rose Patchwork.

Quilt Festival Liberty fabric

Liberty hexagons

I have also been acquiring more cute vintage text and sewing related prints from Simply Solids over the last couple of visits. Apologies but I have no idea of the fabric names or details of the ranges, these are earmarked for baskets or sewing related gifts. I particularly love the one with all the quilt block patterns on.

Well off to make brunch now before we go for another walk, my very energetic sister has just been for a 5K run but we will be doing something a little less strenuous as my knees can’t cope with fast speed!

Have a nice rest of the weekend and week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.